Oklahoma ( (listen)) is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, Texas on the south, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. It is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the fifty United States. The state’s name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning “red people”. It is also known informally by its nickname, “The Sooner State“, in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which dramatically increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, “Okies”), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma’s primary economic anchors, with nearly two thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas.
The Golden Driller is a 76 foot tall (23 meter), 43,500 pound statue of an oil worker, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which is claimed to be the “largest free standing statue in the world.” It was originally built in 1953 by the Mid-Continent Supply Company of Fort Worth for the International Petroleum Exposition. Six years later, it was temporarily erected again for the 1959 show. Due to the positive attention it attracted, the company donated the statue to the Tulsa County Fairgrounds Trust Authority, which had it permanently installed in front of the Tulsa Expo Center for the 1966 International Petroleum Exposition. The statue’s right hand rests on an oil derrick which had been moved from a depleted oil field in Seminole, Oklahoma.
An inscription at the base of the statue reads, “The Golden Driller, a symbol of the International Petroleum Exposition. Dedicated to the men of the petroleum industry who by their vision and daring have created from God’s abundance a better life for mankind.” (Read more . . . )
Drumright is a city in Creek County, Oklahoma. The population was 2,905 at the 2000 census.
The town sprang up nearly overnight in 1912 after wildcatter Tom Slick struck oil on the farm of Frank Wheeler, causing a rush of speculators, oilfield workers, and merchants into the area. The town was named for Aaron Drumright, a farmer and later local businessman whose farm was part of the townsite. Drumright and nearby Cushing were at the center of a large, productive oilfield in the 1910s and 1920s. Today, oil and agriculture are the largest local industries. Drumright is also home to an area vocational and technical school that is a large employer. Most recently, a winery has opened in a historic building that once served as a school for refinery workers. (Read more…)
Did you know…
- …that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
- …that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
- …that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the “Father of Route 66,” proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
- …that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization’s headquarters in Tulsa?
- Nickname:The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Mary Fallin (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: James M. Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Vacant seat 1, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank D. Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Steve Russell (R)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma’s state bird
- Lawmakers approve a bill that would make performing abortions a felony, and revoke the medical license of most assisting physicians, the first such proposed law in the US 
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